The California Supreme Court refused Monday to order the state to immediately stop issuing marriage supreme courtlicenses to same-sex couples.

However, the court still plans to consider whether the governor and attorney general correctly instructed county clerks that a voter-approved ban on gay marriages had become legally invalid statewide.

Without comment, the court denied a request made Friday by backers of the ban for an emergency order that would have required the state to keep enforcing Proposition 8 while they pursue a last-ditch legal effort to preserve it.

“Although we would have preferred for the California Supreme Court to issue a stay so that the state’s marriage amendment would be respected sooner rather than later … we remain hopeful that the court will recognize that Proposition 8 remains the law of the land in California and that county clerks must continue to enforce it,” said Austin Nimocks, a lawyer for the coalition of religious conservative groups that qualified Proposition 8 for the November 2008 ballot.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, who spearheaded the lawsuit that resulted in gay marriage returning to the nation’s most populous state after 4 1/2 years, cheered the state court’s decision allowing the weddings to continue without interruption.

“Our opponents have failed in a desperate attempt to deny happiness and protections to lesbian and gay couples and their children and no amount of legal wrangling is going to undo that joy,” Griffin said.